Design lecturer's new venture a success

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When the opportunity came to retire from teaching and take a studio in the Sea Change studios at Cockington Court Craft Centre, Trish Woods took it with both her creative hands.

Trish, a highly respected lecturer in design at South Devon College for 35 years, is now doing what she has wanted to do ‘for a few years’. Her love of design has led to Trish making contemporary works from pewter and other metals, while creating prints and drawings.

Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “Cockington Court Craft Centre was set up for artists like Trish and it’s very gratifying to hear she is making a success of her new venture.”

Trish said: “It was the right move at the right time for me. The opportunity came to retire from teaching and I’m thoroughly enjoying the new venture and having great fun. It’s my first foray into sales. All my work is a one-off with slightly different finishes and textures.”

“I wanted a studio away from home as it can be isolating. I knew Cockington Court well as my students exhibit here in the summer. The studios are very good and excellent value to provide me with a window to the world. I love being at Cockington as I can interact with people and I like what the Centre Director is doing here.”

Marissa Wakefield, Cockington Court Craft Centre Director, said: “Trish’s works are highly innovative and experimental it’s terrific how she uses a traditional metal such as pewter, yet creates powerful highly contemporary body adornment pieces. Trish is a fantastic addition to the Court’s community of skilled craft makers”.

One of Trish’s aims is to introduce pewter to a wider audience, aiming to produce a new and desirable aesthetic to the traditional material through contemporary designs.

Trish added: “Pewter has the same qualities as silver but there is no wastage. It’s a very fast working metal and there’s no reliance on forges. Traditionally pewter has been cast. Most people know of pewter for its use in tankards but I want to get pewter out there.”

Specialising in statement jewellery and giftware items such as table decorations, Trish is exploring adding colour, texture and incorporating other metals into the pewter, taking much of her inspiration from architecture around the world.

Trish explained: “Colour in pewter is unusual, it tends to be polished. My PhD looked into the colouration process, artificial colouration, patination and oxidisation and I wanted to integrate this into my work.”

Cockington Court Craft Centre is one of the South West Business Centres managed by the TDA, whose manager, Adrian Sheen, said: “Trish is a big asset to Cockington. Her desire to let more people know about pewter and the uses to which it can be put is certainly working.”

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